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Election results highlight deeper divisions entrenched across UK

14th May 2021
Election results highlight deeper divisions entrenched across UK

The UK is more politically polarised, according to the results from the latest elections. The outcome shows that the four nations are deeper entrenched in national differences, with the ruling parties solidifying their control in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, where there was no voting, the province remains uniquely divided.

The backing for Boris Johnson’s brand of Conservatism in England continued to confound critics by not only consolidating their position in local elections but in chipping what used to be traditional Labour strongholds. As if to emphasise the point, the main opposition party even lost a by-election in Hartlepool for the first time in 62 years.

It was not all bleak news for Labour, winning the mayor elections in the West of England and in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough as well as gaining control of 12 more councils having – taking them to 55 in these elections.

Andy Burnham tipped to become the party’s next leader, increased his share of the vote from 63 to 67 per cent, while Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor in Europe, was re-elected for a second term in London.

Three first female Muslims were elected as London Assembly members, Hina Bokhari (LD) and Sakina Zahra Sheikh (Lab) were elected on London-wide share of votes and Marina Masuma Ahmad (Lab) for Lambeth and Southwark

The fortunes of Labour were also strong in Wales, where the party matched its best-ever performance, winning 30 of the 60 assembly seats, an increase of one from 2016, to retain control of the Welsh Assembly where Mark Drakeford will remain as the First Minister.

Among those elected, Natasha Asghar has become the first Muslim woman and first ethnic minority female to be elected to the Senedd as a Tory. She follows her late father, Mohammad Asghar, the first minority elected to the assembly until he died last year.

In Scotland, the SNP increased its dominance, winning 64 seats in the 129 seat Edinburgh parliament, just one short of an overall majority despite its proportional representation system. Breaking new ground, Kaukab Stewart becomes the first woman Muslim and first female from an ethnic background to win a seat at Holyrood. With the increased support for the Greens winning 8 seats, two up from 2016, pro-independence have an overall majority in the devolved parliament.

As a sop, Johnson has offered a ‘summit’ with first ministers to join UK-wide Covid recovery plans. It comes as Nicola Sturgeon pledged to press ahead with a second independence referendum for Scotland.

“It is the will of the country,” Sturgeon said. Given the flippant way Johnson has dealt with the respective devolved leaders during the pandemic crisis, it is seen as highly unlikely to help restore unity following the tribalism and damage divisions that were exacerbated by Brexit.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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